Pwned: FBI infiltrates hacktivist group LulzSec
The FBI charged five alleged leaders of LulzSec, an offshoot of Anonymous, after flipping another leader last June.
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Wired reports that the five men were arrested in a coordinated effort on Tuesday in the US, Ireland, and Britain; other sources indicate the four have only been charged*. The magazine's website notes that Sabu's disappearance around the time of his arrests prompted concerns among the Anonymous community that he had turned state's evidence. But according to Brian Knappenberger, who is editing a documentary on Anonymous, "whenever anyone [accused him of flipping] on Twitter, Sabu would respond with string of obscenities.”Skip to next paragraph
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The quintet's list of alleged crimes includes one of the most embarrassing incidents for international law enforcement officials: the hacking of a trans-Atlantic conference call between members of the FBI, Scotland Yard, and the Garda, Ireland's police force. According to a US district attorney press release on the arrests, O'Cearrbhail reportedly hacked into the personal email account of a Garda officer, thereby learning how to access the Jan. 17 conference call. Once in the call, O'Cearrbhail was able to make a recording of the conference, which he then distributed online.
Some of the alleged LulzSec members have drawn the attention of law enforcement before. Hammond was sentenced to two years in prison for a 2005 hack of a conservative website called Protest Warrior, according to a 2007 profile in Chicago Magazine. Davis was arrested by Scotland Yard last August for alleged cybercrimes, including taking down the website of the Serious Organised Crime Agency, a British major anti-crime department. And Ars Technica reports that according to an FBI affidavit, O'Cearrbhail was arrested by the Garda in Sept. 2011 on a hack-related charge, though he was later released.
* Editor's Note: This story was updated to reflect conflicting accounts about whether all five men had been arrested rather than merely charged.
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